Berkeley County briefs

November 02, 2007|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

Pigeons a problem for county government

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Roosting birds continue to be a nuisance for Berkeley County leaders who now must find a way to rid the birds from the new judicial center's roof where droppings and nesting debris could potentially be sucked into the building's air handling system.

Though faced with the potential for human exposure to bacteria and micro-organisms from feral pigeons, the Berkeley County Commission on Thursday directed Facilities Director Jay Russell to try to find a less costly alternative to a $15,715 proposal (plus tax) submitted by Ehrlich, a pest control company.

County leaders acknowledged on Thursday they had struggled for years to stop birds from roosting on the old courthouse at King and Queen streets before finally coming up with a successful strategy.

In an Oct. 25 letter to Russell, Ehrlich sales representative Greg Demski said the company's survey found feral pigeons roosting in the chillers and air handling equipment on the roof.


County Planning Commissioner resigns

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Berkeley County developer resigned from the county's planning commission, telling county leaders in an Oct. 23. letter he disagreed with "the direction" the board was going.

"My opinion is that due to the direction that they are taking that there will be no affordable housing left in this area, which will make it difficult for working class people to keep their homes," said Gary A. Poling in a letter addressed to County Commissioner Ronald K. Collins.

Poling, a member of Gap Builders LLC of Gerrardstown, W.Va., said he enjoyed the five years he had served on the planning commission, but wished to resign.

The County Commission on Thursday accepted Poling's resignation without comment, but asked a letter be drafted thanking him for his service, a customary procedure for county board and commission members.

Commissioners also accepted the resignation of Rob Shearman Jr. from the Eastern Panhandle Transit Authority. Shearman said he is moving from the area.

Zoning ordinance hearings announced

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Two public hearings will be held on Nov. 27 and 28 to gather feedback on the second draft of the proposed zoning ordinance for Berkeley County, County Commissioners were told Thursday.

The public hearings to be hosted by the Berkeley County Planning Commission will begin at 7 p.m.

County GIS Coordinator Matthew T. Mullenax also announced three "public education" meetings for the proposed Transferable Development Rights ordinance, which also is expected to be placed on the ballot.

The hour-long sessions are scheduled to be held at Musselman High School in Inwood at 7 p.m. on Nov. 13, James Rumsey Technical Institute near Hedgesville, W.Va., at 9 a.m. on Nov. 14, and at the county's offices, the Dunn Building in Martinsburg, at 9 a.m. on Nov. 17.

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